How to Spend 1 Day in Bologna
With its medieval town center and legendary food, Bologna beckons for several reasons. Explore the city by bike, stroll through markets with a local guide, or rent a Vespa to maximize time in the city. Here are our tips for how to get the most out of one day in Bologna.
Morning: Bologna Basics
Get your bearings in Bologna with a city sightseeing tour. Choose between a small-group or private walking tour and set out on foot with your guide to see popular landmarks including Piazza Maggiore, the Neptune Fountain, and Basilica di San Petronio. To cover more ground, opt for a Segway or bike tour and learn about the history and culture of Bologna as you cruise. Themed sightseeing tours are also available, such as a street art–focused bike tour that exposes travelers to the city’s vibrant contemporary art scene.
Afternoon: Flavors of the City
Discover the traditional tastes of Bologna, a city with a serious reputation for food. Bring your appetite on a food-themed walking tour through the city and visit markets, bakeries, pasta makers, and traditional food shops for samples of cheese, cured meats, gelato, and more. Some food tours have themes, such as pasta, mortadella, and chocolate, while others connect visitors with hungry locals eager to share tips for their favorite off-the-beaten-path restaurants and cafés. Meet the makers behind tortellini and pizza as you explore the city on foot.
Night: Climb Aboard a Vespa
Zip through the medieval town center on a Vespa. Choose between exploring independently with a Vespa rental or joining a guide for a scenic ride throughout Bologna. See the city lit up after dark and step into the shoes of a city resident that uses a Vespa for daily transportation. For a less adrenaline-pumping option, enter a local home for a traditional cooking class complete with dinner. Learn some of the secrets behind Bolognese cooking, roll out fresh pasta, and feast on the dishes you prepared along with new friends.